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Zandon kicks clear late for impressive Woodward S. (G2) win

October 1, 2023

Zandon winning the 2023 Woodward S. (G2) at Aqueduct - NYRA photo

Zandon winning the 2023 Woodward S. (G2) at Aqueduct – NYRA photo

Zandon, who will join the Spendthrift Farm stallion roster in 2024, scored one of the biggest victories in his career Sunday at Aqueduct with a 4 ¼-length tally in the $400,000 Woodward S. (G2).

Prior to Sunday’s dominating win, Zandon had three straight tough-luck, runner-up finishes in graded stakes, including the Metropolitan H. (G1) and Whitney (G1). He turned the tables with a stellar come-from-behind finish in the 1 1/8-mile test.

Zandon was between horses going into the clubhouse turn and had to check twice in the first quarter-mile as he found himself in sixth entering the backstretch. Zandon was still sixth after six furlongs, and with horses in front of him, he was forced to go four-wide to find clear running turning for home. He set down nicely for the stretch run and flew past the leaders with a furlong to go, then drew off with ease to finish in 1:48.48 on a fast track.

The victory earned the dark bay a Beyer Speed Figure of 104, his fourth straight triple-digit number, and seventh lifetime.

“Like I’ve said before, one thing I’ll always point out is even in a lot of runner-up finishes, look at the horses that were behind him,” said trainer Chad Brown. “I mean, he’s beat a pile of good horses in those valiant runner-up races. This horse is a really consistent horse and has been a pleasure to train.”

Zandon, who is owned by Jeff Drown, is 3-6-3 in 13 starts and has earned $2,140,000. In his 12 stakes starts, all of them graded races, he has only been worse than third one time. After winning the Blue Grass S. (G1), he ran third in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

“He’ll probably have his last career start in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1, Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park),” Brown said. “Obviously, it’s going to be a much, much tougher race than today, but at least we’re going in off of a decisive victory and a horse that’s had a very consistent year. That’s all you can ask for and anything can happen in a horse race.”

Zandon’s 2024 fee will be announced following the end of his racing career.